Endosomal and Phagosomal SNAREs

Physiol Rev. 2018 Jul 1;98(3):1465-1492. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00037.2017.


The soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) protein family is of vital importance for organelle communication. The complexing of cognate SNARE members present in both the donor and target organellar membranes drives the membrane fusion required for intracellular transport. In the endocytic route, SNARE proteins mediate trafficking between endosomes and phagosomes with other endosomes, lysosomes, the Golgi apparatus, the plasma membrane, and the endoplasmic reticulum. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of the SNAREs involved in endosomal and phagosomal trafficking. Of the 38 SNAREs present in humans, 30 have been identified at endosomes and/or phagosomes. Many of these SNAREs are targeted by viruses and intracellular pathogens, which thereby reroute intracellular transport for gaining access to nutrients, preventing their degradation, and avoiding their detection by the immune system. A fascinating picture is emerging of a complex transport network with multiple SNAREs being involved in consecutive trafficking routes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Phagosomes / metabolism
  • SNARE Proteins / metabolism*


  • SNARE Proteins